PEP Appoints Chief Operating Officer

Positive Education Program is pleased to welcome Diane Gatto as its new chief operating officer.

Gatto arrives at PEP with more than 20 years of experience in social services, data management and operations. She most recently served in a leadership role at United Way of Greater Cleveland where she led the implementation and expansion of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 service, a vital multi-county community resource.

“Diane brings to PEP a wealth of knowledge and passion that will help us better serve the school districts, children and families who rely on our services,” PEP CEO Habeebah R. Grimes said. “Diane joins a team of 500-plus professionals who are committed to bringing out the best in our community’s youth. Her presence makes us stronger.”

At PEP, Gatto oversees the agency’s information technology and quality assurance departments as well as its numerous facilities.

“I’m excited to join the talented staff at PEP and inspired by the organization’s mission. This agency has an excellent reputation and incredible potential for growth. It’s a wonderful time in PEP’s history to become a member of the team, and I’m honored to serve the children and families of our community in this new capacity.” Gatto said.

Gatto holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cleveland State University and a master’s in social administration from Case Western Reserve University. She has completed post-graduate coursework in library and computer science and holds the Certified Resource Specialist credential from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). Gatto is a graduate of the YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute, a 2018 recipient of the YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award and a 2016 recipient of the AIRS Distinguished Service Award.

Gatto joins an experienced leadership team led by CEO Habeebah R. Grimes that also includes Susan Berger, chief external relations officer; Michelle Breen, chief clinical officer; John Sesek, chief financial officer; and Claudia Lann Valore, chief program officer.

As one of Ohio’s largest non-profit agencies committed to children, PEP provides services – both direct and consultative in nature – for children with severe mental health and behavioral challenges, their families and the professionals who support them. PEP is committed to understanding and overcoming the significant trauma and chronic stress experienced by many of the children we serve. Programs include six PEP Day Treatment Centers, PEP Connections, PEP Early Childhood Plus and PEP Assist.